Jamar Chaney and others don’t understand Royce White’s anxiety disorder and ARE wrong


Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

As I wrote earlier tonight, the Sixers acquired Royce White from the Houston Rockets. And I wasn’t looking to get in a beef with anyone, nor do I think I actually did. But people need to take a closer look at why Royce White didn’t play last season, including Eagles linebacker Jamar Chaney.

Before I get into how Jamar Chaney comes into this story, let’s take a closer look at what exactly affects Royce White. We have been told that Royce White suffers from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and most of us have been willing to just say, “well he has a small problem, but the real issue is that he doesn’t play.”  Instead of looking into exactly what Generalized Anxiety Disorder entails. In an exclusive interview that White did with USA Today back in February, White talked about his disorder, and much more.

"“Mental health is talked about in such hush-hush tones,” White told USA TODAY Sports. “You have people who are starting to face the stigma and are now finally admitting they have a mental health disorder. That helps other people with anxiety see that there are people who deal with it and it helps everybody else in society see how prevalent it is.”"

And the article explained to anyone who doesn’t know, exactly what Generalized Anxiety Disorder is, and what it does to you.

"White has Generalized Anxiety Disorder, defined by the NIMH as a disorder in which people “go through the day filled with exaggerated worry and tension, even though there is little or nothing to provoke it. They anticipate disaster and are overly concerned about health issues, money, family problems or difficulties at work. Sometimes just the thought of getting through the day produces anxiety.”"

So let’s bring in Jamar Chaney to this story. Chaney made a tweet that at first looked like the type of attitude that we want our Philly athletes to have. But the more I thought about it, the tweet was very ignorant in a sense.

My wording may have been off a bit, but I think my point was clear. So I continued on, because it was pretty obvious that my point was lost in the fact that I didn’t properly define White’s disorder, which was my fault.

So yeah that’s a bit of a bombshell. Without getting to personally into my OCD, it is something that has drastically affected my life. I’m not saying that to make people feel badly for me, but it bothers me when people brush over it. The perception is that OCD is a disorder that just affects you slightly to the point where you need to re-do things because they don’t feel right the first time, or you need drive home from work because you are afraid that you left the stove on. It sounds annoying, but not life changing. The fact is that while OCD only affects the majority of people who have it to that level, for certain people it eats away at them about more worrisome things.  Whether it is that they are afraid of losing someone in their life or they are afraid of something bad happening to them, it affects their lives in a big way.

Jamar didn’t ever intend to offend anyone with his tweet and I know that. Still thought it was uninformed of him to say it.

His story is different then mine. I’m not bothered by flying like White, and I would gladly have a panic attack on a plane, to go play in an NBA game.  I’m not trying to make this article a pity party for me. I can count on one hand how many people know of the issues I have had with OCD for a while now. I just felt to validate my point in this article, I needed to make that known.

The issue for me is that Jamar doesn’t know White’s story. Jamar knows nothing more than what has been said on Sportscenter about White.

Chaney is right. White wasn’t their for his teammates, but the Rockets never made much of an attempt to help him be there. That part was lost in the media’s poor coverage of the White situation. They brushed him aside because they viewed him as a cancer, because he had a anxiety disorder. That’s one of the biggest problems that our country faces today. We view people with any sort of anxiety or mental disorder as a freak, which is why people don’t get help. Instead, we here about people killing themselves or going on shooting sprees, and we all sit their hopelessly and wonder how we could possible have prevented these tragedies. Well a start would be making people more aware of the issues, so they understand that people with these disorders aren’t freaks, and that if they get the proper help, they can live normal lives. Hell, many of them live normal lives even with the problems. But they could live even fuller lives, if it wasn’t considered bad to go to therapy by the general public.

The point of me responding to Jamar was never to start a fight. Although I wish he played better last season, I think he is a solid piece on this Eagles team. My point was rather to make people aware to White’s world, from someone who has some level of understanding of what he has gone through. And I made sure to clear that up him.